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Major Help!

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(@marthalue)
New Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1
Topic starter  

so im new at this whole guitar thing. i know some chords and where to put my fingers and everything but actually playing the chord is a little tricky. the chord sounds awful! every time sadly.. i dont know what i am doing wrong =/ some help is VERY much needed. thank you :]


   
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 Ande
(@ande)
Prominent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 652
 

More experienced players than me, and probably some teachers, will chime in shortly. But I wanted to jump in with a word of support just in case it takes them a while.

To get chords to ring out and sound right when you play them takes developing strength, flexibility, and muscle memory. FOr them to sound awful at the beginning is totally normal. Anyone who says it isn't is either lyin a bit, or is so old they no longer remember starting out.

There may be other reasons, though, and this forum is a good place to look for some. The more you can describe what you're doing, the more you'll get help. Some possibilities that occur to me:

Are you pressing directly ON the frets? A lot of newbs do, but you'll be much better off pressing the string just ABOVE the fret, towards the headstock.

Or a common techy problem- how high is your action? If your strings are too high, it's gonna take a lot more effort to put them down....

I'm sure there are many more possibilities, but the truth is- whatever the "problem" is, the solution is usually simply- keep at it! Practice fixes most problems, sooner or later.

Welcome!
Ande


   
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(@adrianjmartin)
Estimable Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 76
 

I'm not an expert, not even an good amateur.... :?

But it just takes practice, lots of practice....something 'The Books' shy off is telling you how much practice 'it' takes. It takes years...In my experience...in about ten I may be happy :wink:

Two thing that helped me improve:
1, Fret the chord, and pick each string individually, listen for the dull/muted strings, and trying move fingers until the muted string is playing properly. Also check your fretting against a picture can help. Watching a good player fret a chord will probably put you off as they usually do it so well, automatically, moving all fingers at once( whilst singing, with the guitar on fire behind there back!), but see the final position shown in a book can be great help in the beginning.

2, Justin's 1 - minute changes http://www.justinguitar.com/en/BC-115-1MinuteChanges.php


   
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(@kingpatzer)
Noble Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 2171
 

playing each string individually while fretting the whole chord and making sure each string sounds right is a great way to start.

Practice "grabbing" one chord at a time -- that is have your hand off of the neck and simple move up to the neck and fret the chord in one smooth motion.

You'll get it wrong a lot at first, that's ok! Make the adjustments, play each string till it sounds clear by itself. Strum the chord. Then let go of the neck and grab it again.

Do that over and over and over and over again. Pretty soon you'll be able to grab that one chord pretty well perfectly every time.

Go on to a new chord.

When you have two chords you can just play (however simple they may be) then practice moving between them. Going from one to the other.

Another technique is to realize that most chords that you'll start playing only have 3 notes that really matter. So you can almost always play partial chords and work up to the whole thing.

For example. A C Major chord is typically played:

x 3 2 0 1 0

But:

x x x 0 1 0

is also a C chord. So just play that.

When that is easy as can be, then play:

x x 2 0 1 0

Which is still a C chord.

Then perhaps play:

x 3 2 0 x x

Which is also a C chord.

Finally you can put the whole thing together and play:

x 3 2 0 1 0

Do the same with G:

3 2 0 0 0 3

Is the full chord.

3 2 0 x x x

Is a good enough G chord

x x x 0 0 3

is a good enough approximation.

x x 0 0 0 3

works too.

x 2 0 0 0 3

That's fine.

and finally move to

3 2 0 0 0 3
.

"The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side." -- HST


   
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(@puffin87)
Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 13
 

2, Justin's 1 - minute changes http://www.justinguitar.com/en/BC-115-1MinuteChanges.php

That exercise is great, and it only takes a minute for each chord change sequence. Use it as a warm up or something in between songs that you are practicing if you get frustrated on a particular song. It'll also help you if you find a chord change in a song you're having trouble with...Practice it in one minute intervals, and it'll pay off faster than if you just struggle changing them in the song.

Good advice adrian

Hope that helps,
Puff


   
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(@mrwhammy)
Active Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 10
 

Take your guitar to a guitar shop and have it set-up. This will cost somewhere between $20.00 and $50.00 depending on where you live. Explain the problem you're having and tell the to put on a really light gauge string and set the action low. The cost is worth it because the guitar won't be fighting back and all it will take then is some work on your part but you'll be there before you know it!


   
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(@clideguitar)
Reputable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 375
 

Take your guitar to a guitar shop and have it set-up. This will cost somewhere between $20.00 and $50.00 depending on where you live. Explain the problem you're having and tell the to put on a really light gauge string and set the action low. The cost is worth it because the guitar won't be fighting back and all it will take then is some work on your part but you'll be there before you know it!

When they tell you it will done in 2 weeks expect 4 to 6. Just warning you...

Bob Jessie


   
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 Ande
(@ande)
Prominent Member
Joined: 17 years ago
Posts: 652
 

Any shop that takes 2 weeks, nevermind four to six, to do a simple set up is NOT a shop I'd be returning to.

Best,
Ande

PS- maybe a couple of days. Maybe a week in a busy shop...


   
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(@kent_eh)
Noble Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 1882
 

Any shop that takes 2 weeks, nevermind four to six, to do a simple set up is NOT a shop I'd be returning to.
Best,
Ande
PS- maybe a couple of days. Maybe a week in a busy shop...

It took me 2-3 hours to set up my son's birthday present guitar (Peavey Raptor) last night.

It's the first time I had ever worked on a strat style guitar, and only the 3rd setup I had ever done.
I can't imagine someone who is experienced (and competent) taking longer than that.

I wrapped a newspaper ’round my head
So I looked like I was deep


   
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(@dogbite)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 6348
 

if you are totally new to guitar and have no clear idea of where the fingers go, how to hold a pick and strum up and down, etc....I would highly reccomend getting a few lessons from a teacher. that will really really help you and set you obn a better heading in your self teaching times.

http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=644552
http://www.soundclick.com/couleerockinvaders


   
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